Members of some of the last Hendrix football teams toured the college’s football facilities Saturday,
And all stared in wonderment at the new Young-Wise Stadium going up on campus and the soon-to-be opened Sturgis Athletic Center with classroom, offices and locker rooms.
The new football dressing facility has climate-controlled lockers. A computer at the bottom of the each locker generates a fan that sends rising air to dry out the players’ uniforms and equipment.
The equipment room has vaulted storage units that operate along a track and each section can be opened or locked. Former Oklahoma and Green Bay star Keith Jackson, who recently talked to the team, said the Packers did not have an equipment unit that nice.
The team meeting room has an automatic screen that goes up and down at the punch of a button and players and coaches can view cable television or game video by punching a button on a control panel.
The modern weight room has a full-view window on one side for a panoramic view of the stadium and players can view their individual workout programs on video screens at the top. And the weight room can be used by any Hendrix student, not just the athletes.
The Sturgis facility is adjacent to the new indoor tennis facility that is still under construction and can be easily identified by a dome on campus.
There are several sets of uniforms, one with multi-colored pants.
“When we played we didn’t have enough of the same color jerseys,” said Joe Bates. “Some wore white; some wore black.”
Athletic director Amy Weaver and communications director Frank Cox gave the former players at update on preparation for Hendrix’s first football game in 53 years on Sept. 7.
The stadium is designed to seat 1,500 and there are no visitors stands. Anticipating a crowd that may double that, Weaver said plans are being made for extra seating and a special student area. Cox said 100 reserved tailgating spots were taken with 30 minutes after they opened and there is a waiting list, but he expects tailgating to take place all over campus.
One special touch for the opening game will be all living Hendrix football players will be invited to take the field first. The current Hendrix team will follow them. Then, the captains of the 1960 team and the 2013 team will perform a ceremonial handoff.
“It’s going to be emotional,” said Cox.
“Just don’t let Ronnie Pyle (a former captain) do the handing off because I’m too old to be recovering fumbles,” quipped Bill Wilson, a former teammate.